Term 4 | Week 8

Fire, Food and Friends

As the holidays approach and I sit and reflect on the (festival of) leaving our Year 12s recently experienced as well as our other students as they move into the next stages of their development as students at SCOTS PGC College, I cannot help but think, what is it we actually try to do at SCOTS? What do we truly want from our students?

I hear OP scores, VET pathways, apprenticeships, traineeships, and the list goes on and on. And yes, we want success for our kids, whatever that looks like. However, there is one common belief I have that signifies success for our students and our parents and that is the development of great human beings. Not necessarily perfect ones but really good, decent people.

I must confess that some of my thoughts now turn to my own family. In a year that has flown by quickly, I reflect on how quickly my girls have grown up and equally how quickly all our kids move through school to become young adults. Our Prep students will be graduating in 11 years’ time but that 11 years will go by in a heartbeat. I reflect on one of the Thompson girls’ birthdays held recently.  Interesting I hear you say, but why is he writing about that?

I believe that at significant points in time it is important to reflect on the things in one’s life, and the end of year has caused me to do just that, with my own kids as well as with the students at SCOTS.  This moment has allowed me the opportunity to reflect on our child’s journey through school and to the first couple of years beyond the security of an independent school’s walls.  It also allowed me to reflect on what it is SCOTS PGC truly does.

To recognise this milestone, our daughter decided she would like to host one of those ‘gathering’ things.  I believe they used to be called parties.  She actually spent considerable time planning the food and beverage (for the first time she realised it didn’t just magically appear).  She even managed to pay for some of it herself.  This was amazing!  Maybe she had grown up?  However, help was still needed from mum and dad, as the 12 party pies she purchased didn’t add up with the 17 guests (she was actually good at maths at school!).  Proof that even when our teenagers think they know everything, or think they are old enough to be completely independent, mum and dad are still required to guide, help, and support them.  This I know extends to all of our teenagers.

The challenge is to know when to let them spread their wings a bit further, when to be there to support or assist, or to still be the one that weighs in more heavily.  This occurs throughout school, but also beyond those years.  It was great to watch our daughter ‘growing’ during this time, the same as we had watched her ‘grow’ at other stages of her schooling.  It was also nice to be in the background helping more than she probably knew.

In spite of her purchases, mum and dad still contributed significantly to this event.  I was sent to get this, buy that, sort this and carry that.  I remember money going out.  I don’t remember any coming back… But I was excited at the prospect of seeing her friends and what they would be like.  It is easy as parents to not have the time to see who our children associate with.  Something, given the peer influence on teens, that is very important.

So the stage was set.  Catering sorted, fire pit alight (great work Dad! – Boys like fire!) and the crowd began to arrive.  The first three were Old Boys from another school, if 19 is old.  This is where my reflections began in earnest.  Each lad greeted me with a warm handshake and ‘hello’.

There was a brief hesitation when they weren’t sure how to address me, but this was quickly allayed.  Then the conversation flowed about what they were doing, how was the school, and even about how I was.  I could not help thinking ‘Wow! What great young blokes’.

Then the girls started turning up.  The same thing happened.  Warm greetings, easy, polite conversation.  Impressive.  Very impressive.

The ease at which these ‘kids’ conversed with each other and with us ‘oldies’ was worth further thought… No doubt parenting.  Also, no doubt where they were educated.  It was evident they had been truly educated, in more than academics.

My wife and I ran food all night.  Deli stuff, pumpkin soup, pies (more than 12) etc etc.  The hands down winner was the sliced chorizo cooked over the fire pit (Dad – genius).  These young people were polite, thankful, and getting on famously.  As parents what more do we want for our kids than this in their teenage years?

Great friends, respectful of each other and the adults, obviously young people with great values.

On reflection, this is what I invested in when sending my children to a values led independent school. And here I was able to see the investment paying off beyond the school gates.

Paying off in spades!  These boys and the girls had clearly been educated well, educated in life as well as academics.  This is why as parents we sacrifice to send our kids to such places.  They learn maths, english and a number of academic subjects.  They also learn manner and manners, they become great people.  They become great friends.  Our children are far more than a number and I believe our school demonstrates this and it is reflected in our students’ development.  This is where our investment in education pays off.

So, eventually, they left.  The farewells were equally as impressive.  Everyone thanked us and there was fun and engaging small talk.

Once left to the silence of a deserted house my wife and I could not stop speaking of how great these kids were and the connection this had with the schools they attended.  As we see every day at SCOTS PGC, the development of our teenagers can be fun, exhilarating, difficult and scary at times.  Watching our kids grow into young adults is special.

Knowing our young adults still need their older adults, whether they admit it or not, is also important.  It is also important as parents to recognise our kids’ development.  We need to enjoy their milestones sharing them from close and afar, especially through their school years.  There will be many milestones and chances to reflect on our students’ progress at SCOTS PGC.  I hope we share and recognise all of them as together we continue to develop great human beings.  Our investment, financial or otherwise, is worth it in spades.

In conclusion I would like to thank all the parents, staff and students of SCOTS PGC for their support over the last year. I wish everyone a safe and joyous Christmas and I look forward to seeing our boys and girls return to continue their SCOTS PGC journey next year.

Message from the Chaplain

Rev Willie Liebenberg

What is Christmas about? It’s a question with many different answers! In a world where people appear more divided than ever before it may feel complex. Yet at its core, the Christmas spirit is about doing what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are, to make a difference in the lives of people.

For me, I love the example of Jesus as he sets the bar for Christmas spirit: Acts 10: 38 (MSG), “Then Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down.”

God loves us and returning what we have received is a great gift that completes the divine circuit of ‘love returning love’. Love has the power to transform us and celebrating this sits at the heart of Christmas!

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov [1] said, “Love [people] even with [their] [mistakes], for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. Love all God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things.Once you have perceived it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love. To love God is to love what God loves. To love God means to love everything and everyone . . . No exceptions. God’s love helps us to love things and people in themselves, and not for what they do for us. That’s when we begin to love our family, friends, and neighbours.”

That’s Christmas! Love is both human and divine:

  • Divine love is the energy that brought the universe into being and binds it together.
  • Human love is whatever energy we use to help divine love achieve its purpose.

So this Christmas, I invite our community to reflect on these very sentiments. I wish you all a beautiful and blessed Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Exciting news from one of our latest graduates

Mr David Proudlove – Head of Senior School  

We were delighted to learn this week that Sophie Osborn, Class of 2018, achieved a distinction in the USQ Head Start programme.

The program sees talented Year 12 students complete a first year undergraduate unit of study. As Sophie’s passion is the law, she duly applied for and was invited to study the unit, The Australian Legal System, during 2018. Studies are undertaken online with tutor support available.

Sophie credits her SCOTS PGC Legal Studies teacher, Darren Lee, with kindling her interest in this field and Sophie was our Captain of Mooting during an extremely successful ‘season’ in competitions in Toowoomba and Brisbane.

Congratulations Sophie (and Darren!) for taking on such a challenge and conquering it comprehensively! Sophie plans to study law at university in Brisbane next year.

Indonesian fashion parade

Mrs Nicola Hight – Indonesian Teacher

Year 4 students have been learning about clothing in their Indonesian classes.

Authentic Indonesian outfits for each of primary, lower secondary, upper secondary students and Scouts are respectively modelled (L-R) by Belle, Alice, Liam and Nick. Their Year 4 classmates sketched and labelled the components and colours of these national uniforms. We’ve had some fun practising speaking for fashion parades too!

General Notices

Thank you!

A special thank you to Graham Keogh who has kindly donated 1000 litres of water to the College to replenish our gardens through this tough drought. Your donation is greatly appreciated!


Coles little shop Christmas collectables

Shell Campbell – Year 1 Teacher

Year 1 will be collecting the new and exciting Coles Little Shop Christmas Collectibles for our mathematics resources.

If shopping at Coles from Friday 7 December for your usual groceries, you will receive an item for every $30 spent.

It would be great if families from Prep through to Year 12 could collect these little items and bring them back to our classroom or drop them to Reception next year.

They will be used for graphing, working with money, grouping and sharing objects, along with addition and subtraction activities. Thanks ever so much for supporting our mathematics learning.


Uniform Shop                                           

The Uniform Shop will be closed this coming Friday 30 November and Monday 3 December.

Christmas closure d­ates: The shop will close for stocktake from 11 December and re-open Wednesday 9 January 2019. Please phone Deb on 07 4666 9892 to make an appointment for uniform fittings to avoid any delays­.

Girls Rugby 7s

Mr Peter Wilson – Director of Co-curricular

Tuesday night saw the last round of the South West 7s competition. The Under 14 girls secured one win and one loss as did the Under 16 girls. For a number of team members, this was their first season at playing sevens rugby. There was a significant improvement in all girls across the season, and the future looks bright for SCOTS PGC sevens. The Under 14 girls, in particular, demonstrated this improvement securing wins over the top two teams in the last three rounds of competition.